President’s Letter: Looking to 2018

November 9, 2017 No Comments
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Inclusion Will Build the Workforce

by Tom Chacon

toc_departments50pxFirst of all, I would like to tell everyone how honored I am to be the president of the MPMA for the upcoming year. I would also like to express my appreciation of B Kyle. She has served for two consecutive years as president and has been a stalwart leader in that capacity.  Thank you, B.

I started working in manufacturing when I was 18 years old, and I have found it to be a career that I have enjoyed and would not have changed. Manufacturing has always been an industry that has fueled this country, and I believe it will continue doing so for many years to come.

What I have seen in the past few years is what most people are seeing – we are losing our young people to careers other than manufacturing. There are many reasons for this and our industry (precision metal manufacturing) is not the only industry that is having a hard time recruiting employees.

That leads me to my theme for this year –  inclusion. Statistics show that not only do we have a shortage of enough qualified potential employees to fill our immediate needs, we will not have enough people to fill our needs in the future, especially because of the aging workforce. Our pool of potential employees that we are accustomed to relying upon is diminishing, and a new demographic is starting to emerge. I think if we start looking at under-utilized and under-privileged pools of potential employees, we could start to build a workforce that we can educate and train to meet our future needs.

Now, I don’t want to send the message that I think we should have a “diversity program,” because I’m not. Rather, I’m saying that there are diverse groups of people out there that we can start to utilize and include in our industry that we might not have considered. If we put this kind of inclusion off for too long, we will fall behind in the recruiting process to companies that are already doing it.

As an association, we have the same entrepreneurial spirit that many of our owners have, and the management skills that it takes to run a manufacturing business. We also have strong Associate and Affiliate members, so we should be able to generate many new ideas about how we can keep our pipeline full of qualified employees.

More Opportunities in 2018
I would also like to welcome Amy Walstien as our new Executive Director. Amy comes to us with a plethora of knowledge and new ideas that will enhance our association.

In conclusion, I look forward to serving as the next year’s president of the Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association, and to the opportunities we have in front of us. pm_endmarkgrn-e1320337194716

Tom Chacon is from S & T Chacon LLC. He can be reached at

Copyright © 2017 Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association. For permission to use or reprint this article please contact Nancy Huddleston, publications manager for Precision Manufacturing Journal.


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